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One in 28 Indian women is at risk of developing breast cancer during her lifetime.

By Pankaj Shah

Recent medical advances have made breast cancer a highly manageable disease, especially when detected early, as in the case of stages 0-to-II cancers. Timely treatment also minimises disruptions to the patient's daily routine and quality of life. Advancements in digitalization have also greatly benefited women, as they can easily access information through YouTube on how to self-examine themselves and learn about breast anatomy or changes in breast structure that should be brought to the notice of specialists immediately.

Women above the age group of 20 -25 years should examine themselves monthly, and those above 40 years of age should go for mammography at regular intervals. With earlier breast cancer detection, the survival rate increases to 80 per cent (Stage 1 and stage 2), as compared to 56 per cent in Stage 3 and stage 4.

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According to the latest data collected by the European Cancer Information System (ECIS), 34,088 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2020 in Spain. Pixabay

A team of researchers has developed, at the laboratory level, a prototype of a new biosensor to help detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.

The development of this biosensor falls within the field known as liquid biopsy, which helps detect the presence of cancer through a blood test.

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Novel cancer treatment. Unsplash

A novel breast cancer treatment that takes just five minutes instead of the current two and a half hours has been launched across the UK by the National Health Service (NHS) England. The injection called Phesgo will be offered to eligible patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, undergoing chemotherapy. It takes as little as five minutes to prepare and administer, compared with two infusions that can take up to two and a half hours.

Phesgo jabs can be given alongside chemotherapy or on their own. The injection will also significantly cut down the risk of COVID infection for cancer patients by reducing the amount of time spent in the hospital. “This new injection, which can substantially cut treatment time for people with breast cancer, is the latest in a series of changes which have meant the NHS has been able to deliver vital cancer treatment while keeping patients safe from Covid,” Peter Johnson, NHS national clinical director for cancer, said in a statement.

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Google explores AI use in breast cancer screening. Pixabay

Google’s health division is collaborating with Northwestern Medicine in the US on a new clinical research study to explore whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) models can help reduce the time to breast cancer diagnosis, narrowing the assessment gap and improving the patient experience.

Women who choose to take part in the study may have their mammograms reviewed by an investigational AI model that flags scans for immediate review by a radiologist if they show a higher likelihood of breast cancer, Google Health said in a blog post on Thursday. If a radiologist determines that further imaging is required, the woman will have the option to undergo this imaging on the same day.

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